SJP Properties is facing a breach of contract suit by a New Jersey family for allegedly misrepresenting the square footage of a $1 million apartment and overcharging real estate transfer taxes, both at the Platinum condominium near Times Square.
Arkady and Marina Kiner, of South Amboy, N.J., and their son, Emil Kiner, who resides at 2 Gold Street in the Financial District, filed suit in U.S. District Court March 26, alleging the sponsor, 46th Street Development, an affiliate of SJP, failed to disclose certain key facts required under the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act, and demanded refunds on two units in the building. More and more buyers at new condo buildings throughout the city are using the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act to get out of purchases.
According to the lawsuit, Arkady and Emil signed an agreement in April 2007 to buy apartment 405, a one-bedroom unit for $955,000 in Platinum at 247 West 46th Street, and that same month, Marina signed a contract for apartment number 2304, for about $1.07 million. She deposited almost $160,000 for that unit. She has not closed the sale. Arkady and Emil, meanwhile, put a $143,250 deposit on their one-bedroom and closed in September 2008.
The suit alleges that Joy Baskin, an attorney with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, which represented the developer, told Arkady and Marina that they would have to pay real estate transfer taxes at the commercial rate of 2.625 percent, since the husband and wife were each buying units in the building. The plaintiffs allege that they should have been allowed to purchase the units under the residential tax rate of 1.425 percent.
The Kiners also allege that apartment 2304, which is listed as a 951-square-foot apartment, is actually 100 square feet smaller than its listed size. The family claims that the developer did not allow Marina to inspect her apartment prior to contract signing.
The family is demanding the developer refund the entire purchase price of $955,000 for the first apartment and the entire deposit for the second unit, together amounting to $1.14 million.
SJP, the Parsippany, N.J.-based developer behind speculative office tower 11 Times Square, and Stroock declined to comment.
Platinum has a total of 220 units. According to Streeteasy.com, asking prices range from $920,000 for a 748-square-foot, one-bedroom unit to $1.99 million for a 1,311-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment. Another 34 units are listed for rent, starting at $2,950 per month for a studio.